WAYNE, Pa. - The Salisbury University men's soccer team took on Eastern University on Tuesday evening and fell to the Eagles, 1-0, on the road.
Eastern got on the board early after controlling the ball for the opening minutes. JD Saracco got the ball deep in Sea Gull territory before throwing a cross to the mouth of the net. A member of both squads had a play on the ball, but both missed and Vanji Moise was there, playing the miss on the back post to kick it home on the door step in the fourth minute.
Salisbury settled in after the early tally and the rest of the half featured both teams displaying strong defensive tactics with neither side having any major scoring opportunities.
Salisbury was able to muster up two shots in the opening half, with both being deep attempts on net, while the Eagles had three shots in the half, with the opening marker being their lone shot on goal.
In the second half, Salisbury got a promising look in the 57th minute as Leslie Umunna beat his mark from 25 yards out and stepped into a lefty shot from just outside the 18 that was struck with excellent pace, but keeper Quentin Keibler smothered the attempt.
Just minutes later, the Gulls had a two-on-one and the Gull on ball tried to push the ball over to Matt Zimmerman who had an open look at the net, but Keibler broke up the play with a diving effort to keep Salisbury off the board.
The Gulls would get several more chances to tie the game.
Tyler Andrus got a direct kick from 25 yards out that he drilled into the Eagle wall with a hard shot. The bouncing rebound came back to him but he put the volley attempt over the frame.
With the Gulls continuing to dominate the pace and control the tempo in the second half, it came down to one last-ditch effort. Daniel Kim had a free kick from just inside Sea Gull defensive territory with under a minute to go. All the remaining players awaited the boot inside the Eagle 18. Kim put a great ball from 50 yards out into the box and Colby Fell got a head on the ball, sending it high into the air, but the ball would not descend into the back of the net, instead going just over the crossbar and scraping the back netting on its way down.
Robert Fiackos got the start in net for Salisbury but was relieved by Daniel Brennan after just 17 minutes to be attended to by the medical staff. Brennan played the remaining 73 minutes and did not face a shot on target.
In all, Salisbury outshot Eastern 10-6, including putting four on net, while Eastern only put one shot on cage.
The Gulls are back in action Saturday, September 24 when they return to the SU Soccer Complex for their Capital Athletic Conference season opener, taking on Southern Virginia University at 2 p.m.